GUNTUR: In an attempt to clear apprehensions among people, Guntur district joint collector Dinesh Kumar participated in the funeral of a Covid-19 victim on Sunday.
He attended the funeral without wearing a PPE kit to show that one could not contract the virus seven hours after a patient’s death.
A 57-year-old from Challapalli village in Krishna district had died of Covid-19 while undergoing treatment at Government General Hospital (GGH), Guntur. The family members refused to claim the body to perform the final rites.
Upon learning about the incident, joint collector Dinesh Kumar swung into action and roped in Amma Charitable Trust to perform the funeral. Along with the representatives of the trust, the joint collector visited the burial ground where the funeral was performed as per the religious traditions of the victim.
Amma trust chief Swamy Gnana Prasanna Giri lit the pyre. “We wanted to send a message to people that they cannot contract the virus if they perform the final rites of their kin after six to seven hours after death,” said Dinesh Kumar.
Dinesh Kumar said families can claim the bodies after 24 hours and perform final rites without any fear. “Families could wear PPEs and take a little care if they still have fear. In my view, they would not need any kits after 24 hours,” said the joint collector. He said the bodies of Covid-19 victims would be sprayed with sodium hypochlorite and packed in sealed bag as a precaution.
In a similar gesture, Kurnool legislator Hafeez Khan wore a PPE kit to perform the funeral of a person who had succumbed to Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Gopichand, district principal and sessions judge and chairman of District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), has directed the police to book criminal cases against those obstructing the funerals of Covid-19 victims.
“As per IPC 297, 341, 147 and 148, it is a crime to obstruct funerals. We advise people not to create obstructions to funerals Covid-19 victims,” said the district judge.

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